Film Industry Update #2

hitREcord... Coming to a Theater Near You
By: Morgan Denno
hitRECord Article

You might've heard of Joesph Gordon-Levitt. You might recognize him as the kid with the bowl cut hairdo on the TV show 3rd Rock from the Sun. He played the sweet and endearing Cameron in 10 Things I Hate About You. He played the hopeless romantic Tom in 500 Days of Summer. He also displayed some bad@$$ stunt work in 2010's Inception. With a long list of diverse roles under his belt, it's apparent that Gordon-Levitt is a well rounded actor. Rather than pick up his paychecks and pose for the paparazzi, "regular Joe" (as he likes to be called) wants to make movies, but not just any movies.
This is when Gordon-Levitt came up with a brilliant and extremely innovative plan. Instead of taking advantage of his celebrity status, "regular Joe" wants to share his passion for film with others by way of an interactive (and unprecedented) website called hitREcord. It's through this website that users and fans can work on a project and accept help from others across the world. For example: person A comes up with a story, person B writes the script, persons C, D and E act out the script and person F begins the editing process... get the picture? Some might participate for the fun of it, others like to add their work to their resume or maybe they just enjoy the paycheck in the mail. Rather than post finished works, hitREcord encourages people to come together and accomplish a project together.
Here's where it gets exciting. hitREcord has already published an anthology of the company (which has existed since 2010) and has begun a three-book deal. Gordon-Levitt leads live shows throughout the world where they present their already completed projects, discuss upcoming "records" and do a lot of other really fun stuff too. Gordon-Levitt's celeb status doesn't put a damper on things either when he invites his famous friends onstage with him. Seth Rogan, Anne Hathaway, Anna Kendrick and more have all been seen on the hitREcord stages and are huge fans of what he's created.

What's next for the young media tycoon? Well "Fall Formal" is right around the corner in LA at the Orpheum Theater. Get tickets now!

Meet Qwikster: Netflix Spins Off Discs-By-Mail from Streaming VideoBy: Ivonnie DulceWired Article
Earlier this summer, Netflix announced a minor change with how the company would operate film distribution in relation to their $7.99 monthly plan. The company eliminated the $7.99 per month for both DVD and online streaming of media content and created multiple monthly Netflix-DVD.jpgplans designed for the viewing needs of the consumer. Now the corporation changes once again, but instead of changing their monthly plan, they have split the company into two different businesses. Netflix will retain the online streaming service and own Qwikster, whereas Qwikster will inherit the DVD by mail service and now incorporate a video game rental service (also through mail).

These new changes within the company are very interesting because the $7.99 per month for both DVD and online streaming of media content is what made the company extremely popular among consumers. The corporation’s success has forced other film distribution companies such as Blockbuster to lose popularity among customers on account of the lack of desire to rent DVDs personally. Earlier this week, Netflix produced revised quarterly projections of the company’s future revenue showing negative results having much of their accounts be DVD based. Not only are customers being affected, but Netflix investors are also worried about the success of the split due to stocks being down 24% from the previous week.

The Qwikster site is said to be launched in a few weeks, but below is a video of Hastings and Rendich explaining the company’s split and an overdue apology about the first business move the company made in which representatives failed to provide a clear explanation about the new monthly (well, almost to be nonexistent) plan. Netflix has greatly changed and defined the film distribution arena, but will this new business change benefit or destroy the powerful corporation?

Throwing a digital age curveball by: Alisa Hemmesch
NY Times Article

'Moneyball', is an upcoming film that portrays the way technology can be manipulated to accomplish ones goals-- no matter how obscure or random those goals may be. The film is based on a true story about the Oakland A's manager, Billy Beane, and how he used computer generated analysis to drafts players for his then unsuccessful team. After using this computer generated program, he was able to put together a team while still on a tight budget. It is interesting to see a sports film take such a different approach in telling the story. Most baseball movies focus on the game itself, the lives of the players, and the dramatic yet glamourous lifestyle that comes with being a famous athlete. This film, however, focuses on the mathematical and statistical approach Beane and his assistant, Paul DePodesta, executed years ago. I think this film will be very interesting and relevant to the digital world we currently live in. These events took place in the early 2000's, a time where our reliance on technology was not nearly where it is today. Then, a breakthrough and strategical execution of technology like this was extremely noteworthy and impressive. Today, it seems we immediately think of technology to be the solution to any problem. The uses of technology today are endless. For example, during the San Diego blackout I was grateful to have a smart phone that could access the internet so I could be given live information on what happened, when the power will be back on, etc. My friends who did not have smart phones, however, acted as if the world was ending. The sole issue of being cut off from technology for a matter of hours was devastating to them. Now most would think they are being dramatic, but it really shows how much we rely on technology to do everything for us these days. The way Beane changed his drafting process could very well become the norm for all draft picks in the future for any professional sports team. We can never expect where technology will be, but it is interesting to see on the big screen how far it has come within a matter of 10 years.

Blockbuster's Netflix rival will make streaming market even more confusing
external image

by: Colleen
Netflix’s divorce into two companies has been announced and its customers struggle to figure out what to do next. As they decide what is the best option for watching movies, they are going to be introduced to something new, Blockbuster’s “A Stream Come True.”

This Friday Blockbuster is going to come out and hop on the streaming bandwagon with a service of its own. Blockbuster is not the only company that decided to challenge Netflix, there is also Hulu and even Amazon.

Each of these companies offers video streaming with a selection of movies but there are limitations for what the customer can watch. For example, a customer may subscribe to Amazon Instant Video where he or she can watch different TV shows from Showtime but none from HBO.

Will Richmond, found of consulting firm Broadband Directions, explained that it is the studios’ business intention to work with multiple outlets. Studios become the owners to the valuable content causing a bidding war for content licensing between Netflix and other rivals.

Even though the multiple video streaming companies are working to the studios liking, the customers that are on the other end of the stick are suffering from confusion and inconvenience. The simple fact that consumers have to keep jumping to different services for different content will become cumbersome and annoying. CNNMoney reader Nathan Wayer even commented that the tech savvy consumers would end up downloading the content illegally through BitTorrents.

Illegal movie downloads 'threaten the future of British film market'
Posted by: Andrea Jimenez

external image hbo-header.jpg
Film piracy and illegal downloading is a problem that the entire film industry around the world is facing. The article "Illegal movie downloads 'threaten the future of British film market'" focuses on the impact illegal movie downloading is having on the British film industry and looking for solutions to the problem. Liz Bales, director-general of the Industry Trust for Intellectual Property Awareness, plans to suppress piracy and illegal downloading by competing with the illegal industry using a new technology that will make legal viewing easier. The UK Film Council set up a site last year "", after research revealed that 1 in 3 users regularly visit illegal sites first."Supported by advertising revenue, offers a free service that tells users where to find the film they want on TV, on DVD, on a download site, on Blu-ray and even in the cinema." Another measure that is being looked into is the possibility of blocking websites that infringe copyright law. "It is a global issue," said Bales. "In some countries it has reached the point where it is not possible to offer competitive legal services. In Spain, for example, the market has been decimated by digital infringement." In order to keep the film industry producing films for our entertainment people need to stop illegaly downloading movies.

Will 'Lion King' Success Lead to More Movie Rereleases?

Posted by: Lola SmithThe Hollywood Reporter

Is the film industry running out of movie ideas? For a while it seemed the trend was to do remakes on awful movies (Footloose sans Kevin Bacon?), but now it seems the film industry has just gotten a bit lazy with recent rereleases.

Don't get me wrong, I love the Lion King, but do I really need to spend $15 on a movie I saw when I was 8 years-old? I can just pop in my trusted VHS copy and microwave some Orville Redenbacher's at home and it's completely free.

However, the general public does not share my views. According to The Hollywood Reporter, The Lion King's limited 3D release earned over 30 million dollars between September 16-18. Grossing more the 70 million domestically and at a cost of only 10 million to converge the film into 3D, I'd say that's quite a profit.

The big question is- how many companies will follow suit? Apparently, Paramount is already backing James Cameron's (the father of 3D) plans to rerelease Titanic in 3D and Fox will rerelease George Lucas' Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace in 3D this coming February.

It'll be interesting to see if this trend catches fire or if the film companies will be forced to produce "original" movies again.